All the buzz in the CEZ
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Also in this issue:
  • Do the Dow Fall Art Crawl
  • Free Legal Advice for Entrepreneurs
  • CEZ Knight Arts Challenge Winners
  • Learn in the CEZ
  • IFP Moving to Vandalia Tower
  • Parking Survey for University Ave
  • State Arts Board Info Sessions
  • Toymaker YOXO Needs You
  • Host a Pop-up Mixer
To average passerby, the Dow Building at 2242 University Ave looks like any one of the many old industrial buildings lining the Central Corridor. Behind its unassuming façade, however, are more than 30 artist studios where painters, woodworkers, metalworkers, photographers and more create. An innovative framing business with a unique model is now giving the inner creativity of the Dow Building an outwardly visible face.
Khanh Tran opened Frame by Frame in the University Ave facing storefront of the Dow Building previously occupied by Fastenal September 16. He plans to have his frame shop double as a gallery for artists in the Dow Building. Rather than take a commission on works that sell out of the shop, he charges artists a flat monthly rate to display their work. So far, 16 artists from the building have taken him up on the offer.
“It’s a win-win for everybody,” Tran says. “I help them sell their art, and they can use this gallery as their own to present their art instead of going up to their studio.”
Tran credits his entrepreneurial spirit to his parents. His father was a tailor, his mother a seamstress. Together, they built Tran’s Tailors, a chain of tailor shops throughout the Twin Cities.
“They worked hard for it,” Tran says. “It’s not easy to open five businesses from nothing. That’s where I get my drive.”
The Trans’ family story of success in the face of adversity began on a boat in the Pacific Ocean in 1978. Looking to escape a war-torn Vietnam, Khanh’s father saved what little money he could and bought a 30-foot boat. He boarded a 4-year old Khanh along with 20 other children and 10 adults and set out for a more prosperous life and opportunity.
The boat arrived in Japan and the passengers were moved to a refugee camp, where eventually they were given Visas that allowed them entry into the U.S. The family again packed up their belongings and headed for Bloomington, Minnesota, where Khanh’s uncle lived.  
Khanh Tran eventually went on to attend college where he first discovered framing as a potential profession. With an apparent knack for the craft, Tran later went on to open his own frame shop gallery space in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis in a storefront across the street from the Northern Clay Center.
“The reason I continue doing it is because I just like to design it; I like to see the art and I like to have a hand in making that art look even better,” Tran says.
Read the full article in The Line Magazine

Do the Dow Fall Art Crawl

Do the Dow Fall Crawl
November 14-15
Friday 6-10pm, Saturday 12-6pm
Dow Building, 2242 University Ave

Don’t miss the premier fall arts event in the Creative Enterprise Zone November 14 and 15. The artists of the Dow Building will open their studios to the public for the annual Do the Dow Fall Crawl. Meet and mingle with almost 30 accomplished artists from a variety of disciplines including oil, acrylic, watercolor, encaustic, collage, printmaking, photography, ceramics and sculpture. Check out the new Dow Art Gallery and Frame by Frame shop and storefront right off University Ave.
This year, the Dow artists are partnering with ComMUSICation, a youth development choral program that will perform Friday night at 7:00pm and 8:00pm in Khanh Tran’s new frame shop and Dow Art Gallery in the front of the building for a silent auction fundraiser to support ComMUSICation’s programming. A second youth choir will also perform outside the 2nd floor elevators at the same time. All proceeds from the fundraiser will go to supporting ComMUSICation’s mission to empower youth with lifelong skills through music making and community building.
In addition to the choral performances of ComMUSICation, the Women’s Drum Center will host drum circles all night Friday. On Saturday they will host drum circles and drum set demos from 12:00pm-1:00pm and 3:00pm-5:00pm where all guests are welcome to try their own hand on the drums. Additionally, Drumheart, WDC’s performance group, will host a public rehearsal from 1:00pm-3:00pm Saturday.

Come out and support some of the Creative Enterprise Zone’s many talented artists and bring home a new piece of art (or two) to enliven your home for the holiday visitors and winter months to come.
Featured “Do the Dow” artists include:
Steve Wewerka, Jill Waterhouse, Noreen Tyler, Karen Searle, Debra Ripp, Emmett, Ramstad, Erik Pearson, Patty Paulus, Bettye Olson, Kelly Meister, Ann Meany, Anne Labovitz, Laurie R. Johnson, Martha Kuzzy, Anders Himmelstrup, Bart Galle, Gretchen Driesbach, Robert Delutri, Ruth Donhowe, Don Dickinson, Marisa Cuneo-Linsly w/Women’s Drum Center, Ann Deprey, Anne DeCoster, Joan Cox, Mike Conroy, Kevin Caufield, Carolyn Brunelle, and Ute Bertog.

Learn more about this event and keep up with all the artists in the Dow Building on Facebook at

Free Legal Advice for Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, October 21
2:00pm-4:00pm (arrive at 1:30pm)
Midtown Global Market
920 E Lake Street, Suite G10
Minneapolis, MN, 55407

Whether you’re getting a new business off the ground, or are looking for ways to bring your personal enterprise to the next level, navigating the legal framework of owning your own business can be daunting.
This is an opportunity to work one-on-one with an attorney pro bono to get your legal questions answered. Brought to you by the Neighborhood Development Center and the law firm of Fredrickson & Byron, this free workshop is your chance to get professional legal advice on issues like:
  • Entity formation
  • Contract formation and review
  • Agreements
  • Intellectual property
  • Legal restructuring
  • Exporting/importing
  • And much more
RSVP is required. Please contact Perla Mayo at or 651-379-8119

Congratulations to the 5 St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge winners from the CEZ!

From 868 submissions to 69 finalists to 42 winners, the St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge saw the highest per capita response rate of any arts challenge in history. Submissions flew in from across the city with enticing ideas to improve St. Paul through the arts. Congratulations to all the winners and to the Knight Foundation for such a successful competition.
We are particularly happy to see these five winners from the Creative Enterprise Zone and look forward to seeing their ideas come to life:

Alec Soth and the artists at Little Brown Mushroom: $35,000 for "Winnebago Workshops Inspire Teen Artists"

IFP Minnesota: $60,000 for "New Fellowship Competition Boosts Screenwriters"

Workhorse Coffee Bar: $5,000 for “'Smallest Museum in St. Paul' to be created at Raymond/University on the Green Line"

The Bindery Projects: $50,000 for "Exhibition Space Brings Prominent Artists to St. Paul"

Mizna: $40,000 for “Series brings Arab-American Art into the Community”

We are so happy these talented artists and exceptional organizations choose to #MakeItHere in the CEZ. Check out these exciting projects along with all 42 winners at It's great to see creativity being leveraged in such a productive and equitable way to improve St. Paul.

Learn in the Creative Enterprise Zone

With such a breadth of creative talent here in the Creative Enterprise Zone, it should come as no surprise there are few better places for you to hone your skills or pick up a new one altogether. Take advantage of living in one of the densest creative hubs in the Twin Cities by taking a class offered by some of the many artists, makers and organizations right here in the neighborhood. Whether you’re looking to take a spin on the pottery wheel or stay in shape over the winter hibernation months, take a look at what the Creative Enterprise Zone has to offer.
We’re compiling a list of every opportunity to learn in the Creative Enterprise Zone. If you offer classes of any sort and you’re not on the list yet, let us know so we can add you.
Vienna Community Arts (music)
Chanson Community Arts (music)
Swift Music School (music)
Audacious Alchemy (yoga)
IFP (film)
Fawn Friday (fitness)
The Center  (fitness)
Embodied Health (yoga)
Enlightened Mama (Child care/parenting)
Women's Drum Center (music)
Kevin Caulfield (ceramics/pottery)
Steve Wewerka (iPhone photography)
Twin Cities T'ai Chi Ch'uan Studio (martial arts)
Mill City BalroomTwin Cities Aikido (martial arts)
Mill City Ballroom (dance)
TU Dance (dance)
MAP for Nonprofits (nonprofit)
Mizna (Arabic drumming)

Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute (tutoring)
Jennings Community Learning Center (charter school)
Avalon Charter School (charter school)


IFP Minnesota Moving to Vandalia Tower

Creative Enterprise Zone-based Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota recently announced it will be moving to the new Vandalia Tower development by First & First at 550 Vandalia.
IFP will become one of the first anchor tenants in the much-anticipated creative campus alongside Lake Monster Brewing. The organization is moving from their current location at 2446 University Avenue into the new state-of-the-art facility.
“We’re thrilled to be one of the first organizations to make the move to Vandalia Tower,” said IFP Minnesota Executive Director Andrew Peterson in a statement. “This move will support and centralize our growing programs, focus attention on the Twin Cities’ thriving independent film community, and create a dynamic, new space that will attract artists across all disciplines."
The new media arts center will open in January, 2015. It will feature multiple classrooms, screening space, video editing stations, a dedicated youth space, and a photography gallery, as well as offices and meetings space. It will become an ideal location for receptions, events and screenings—perhaps even in the Vandalia Tower Courtyard.
You can get a first look at the new IFP space under construction on Saturday, November 8. Stay tuned to for more details. A fundraising campaign is also currently underway. You can support IFP Minneosta by becoming a member today or making a tax-deductible contribution.

We're thrilled IFP Minnesota will be upgrading to such an exciting new space while staying in the CEZ and can't wait to see what they achieve in the years ahead.

University Avenue Parking Survey Now Open

Efforts are underway to evaluate parking possibilities along University Avenue. Your input is vital in determining the best possible options for parking along this important route. Among the options being considered is a proposal that would turn certain parts of University Avenue from a four-lane road into a two-lane road with on street parking on either side. Take 
this short survey to weigh-in on the conversation now.
Parking possibilities is a community conversation that broadens the discussion from traffic congestion to a discussion about balancing the quality of living, working and traveling on University Avenue along the Green Line.
A range of factors will be considered before a decision is made about parking in this corridor. These factors include technical feasibility, resident and business community feedback, potential impact on emergency responder services, and potential costs.
The survey will be available now through November. Residents and businesses along University Avenue are strongly encouraged to take this voluntary survey available in English, Hmong, Spanish and Somali. Your name is not required.
The survey can be accessessed along with additional information on the project by visiting There is a resident and business version.
Parking Possibilities is funded by BCBS Foundation, the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, and the City of St. Paul.

MN State Arts Board Offers Free Grant Program Information Sessions  

The Minnesota State Arts Board is holding three free information sessions in the Twin Cities metro area about funding opportunities for artists, arts organizations, schools, community organizations, and human and social service organizations. The sessions include a brief overview of all Arts Board grant programs and a panel discussion with five grantees. The sessions provide an opportunity for participants to learn from the experience of a diverse group of peers who have successfully worked in partnership with the Arts Board to fund a range of projects.
The three sessions are identical, and will be held at the following locations:
Rondo Community Outreach Library
Wednesday, November 12, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
461 Dale Street North
St. Paul 55103

Pillsbury House + Theatre
Monday, November 17, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
3501 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis 55407

Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC)
Tuesday, November 18, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
2001 Plymouth Avenue North
Minneapolis 55411

The information sessions are free of charge, but advance registration is strongly encouraged. Click here to register for an information session

Support CEZ Toymaker YOXO on Kickstarter

The makers of one the hottest holiday toys last year is right here in the Creative Enterprise Zone and they need your help to upgrade their operation to make enough YOXO toys to keep up with orders and inspire creativity in thousands of kids this year.
YOXO (pronounced yock-so) is a completely new way of designing and manufacturing toys. The cardboard links that can be put together in any way to create fun and exciting robots, insects, and more are made without plastic, with minimal waste and with one goal in mind: to inspire creativity in every kid.
Thanks to some serious media exposure after launching last year, including a feature on NBC’s Today Show, they worked day and night and sold every toy they could possibly make by December 24. Today they are shipping YOXO orders to over 140 toy stores in 38 state, Mexico and Canada.
In order to keep up with the demand this year, they need to buy a very cool (and expensive) water jet cutter from Minnesota-based Jet Edge. This new piece of equipment will allow YOXO to increase production by 1500% and keep up with the deluge of orders that is sure to come.
Head over to their Kickstarter page and give them a hand. In return they will ship limited-edition YOXO kits to their Kickstarter supporters in time for the holidays.
Here's an image of the machine YOXO needs to continue inspiring the next generation of makers


Host Your Own Pop-up Mixer in the CEZ

In our continued effort to build community and promote collaboration in the Creative Enterprise Zone, we are proud to sponsor a Pop-up Mixer. Let us know you are interested in hosting one and we’ll give you a Mixer Certificate, which you can use to receive a free Growler at Bang Brewing or Urban Growler, a pitcher of beer at the Dubliner or a bottle of wine from Sharretts. On the certificate are five questions about the Creative Enterprise Zone to juice-up your party. Use it as an opportunity to invite a small group together: collaborators, neighbors, customers or friends—anyone who lives, works and plays in the Creative Enterprise Zone.

In return, we ask you to take a few notes to document your conversation, snap a photo of your group in action and tell us who participated. We’ll post your submission on our website to highlight the creative people in our neighborhood and spark further discussion. Email to set up your mixer today!

Get Connected!


What is the Creative Enterprise Zone?

The Creative Enterprise Zone, located mid-city between St. Paul and Minneapolis, has the goal to be recognized as a center of creativity and enterprise, a place where many people make a living by their creative capacities.
Showcasing a mixture of urban-industrial and innovative enterprises, the Creative Enterprise Zone promises to be a fertile laboratory of entrepreneurship, business incubation, artistic endeavor and eclectic urban design. Located along the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line at the hub of the Raymond Station area, this dynamic nucleus of artisans and industry provides a unique sense of place that captures the imagination.

Regionally significant due to the central location and ease of access, the community offers a symbiotic mix of live and work opportunities. Cultivation of diverse, affordable spaces for entrepreneurial businesses, artisans and residents, and support systems for a tightly interconnected creative community, are high priorities.
Copyright © 2014 Creative Enterprise Zone, All rights reserved.

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